Whether it's getting a tuition discount from the university where your husband teaches or having the right to take family medical leave if your spouse becomes ill, you'll find that the benefits of being a wife are numerous. Even if you're in a committed relationship, if you're not legally married, it will not be recognized by the law, or sadly, many other segments of society.
It's About Money, Honey
Looking at the cost of buying your own insurance versus your husband adding you to his plan, you'll immediately see how tying the knot is healthy for your joint bank account. Being a wife also ensures that you'll inherit his money and property should you outlive him. The legal website Nolo points out that a surviving wife is usually entitled to a portion of her husband's veteran's or social security benefits. A wife can also appeal to the courts for fair distribution of property in the event of a divorce; if an unmarried couple breaks up, the woman might be left merely hoping that her live-in partner will do the right thing by sharing money from selling the car in which they both invested, for example.
Legal and Societal Recognition
How you are perceived by other people may not be a daily concern for you, but having legal recognition becomes critical if your spouse needs lifesaving medical care, as only spouses and other first-degree family members can make medical decisions in such cases. You'll also find it easier to get a joint loan together, such as for a mortgage or new car. Societal recognition is also important. Social relationships and support helps to improve overall well-being, according to a 2011 study published in "Journal of Health and Social Behavior." In some cases, even friends and family may be more accepting of your relationship if you are married, for example permitting the two of you to share a room when you visit during the holidays.
Health and Well-Being
It may be healthier to be married -- at least if the marriage is happy -- than to lead the single life. A study published in the July 2010 journal, "Age and Ageing," found that married people aged at a slower rate than their unattached counterparts. So if you want to feel young, invest your time and energy in creating a happy marriage and you may save trips to the doctor's office. In some cases, becoming a wife instead of a girlfriend may also encourage you to adopt healthier behaviors, such as turning in earlier at night or eating healthy family meals instead of fast food on the go.
Commitment and Perseverance
More than any other social relationship, marriage says, "I love this person and want to spend the rest of my life with her." The accompanying security can help to make life just a tad sweeter. People who believe marriage is permanent enjoy stable, high-quality unions, according to a 2010 study reported in the journal "Social Science Research." If this describes you, you may have many wedding anniversaries to celebrate, and when the going gets rough, you'll both be more inclined to put in the effort to make your relationship last.
- Nolo: Marriage Rights and Benefits
- Age and Aging: Leukocyte Telomere Length and Marital Status Among Middle-aged Adults
- Journal of Health and Social Behavior: Mechanisms Linking Social Ties and Support to Physical and Mental Health
- Social Science Research: Is Love a Flimsy Foundation? Soulmate Versus Institutional Models of Marriage
- Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images